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Kathryn Nelson, Special Counsel
After 20 years in the courtroom, I have settled into practicing exclusively family law for both professional and personal reasons. As a Colorado native, I attended Heritage High School in Littleton and Colorado State University in Ft. Collins on a Colorado Scholars Award and President’s Scholarship. In 1986, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. I knew that law school was my calling, but also wanted to experience life outside of Colorado.
I moved to San Diego, California and worked as a legal secretary for a year. That experience taught me that I wanted to use the law to help people in difficult situations. I attended the University of San Diego Law School and received my juris doctor degree in 1990. I studied abroad for a period of time during law school in Salzburg, Austria. This was a fascinating experience where I was instructed by United States Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, a law professor from Edinburgh, Scotland, and other accomplished scholars from around the globe. This instruction opened my eyes to the use of the legal system in other cultures.
I began my legal career as a deputy district attorney in Orange County, California where I remained as a prosecutor for eight years. In this capacity, I tried over 100 cases and had the unique opportunity to deal with numerous victims of serious crimes. I specialized in domestic violence cases for a period of time, where I heard victims’ stories and sympathized with what they had been through, trying my best to find ways to help them out of their cycle and put their lives back in order. I learned that I could make a positive impact. I felt that I could connect with people and show them how the law could be used to make a difference in their lives and help them in extremely difficult and extraordinary times.
After 12 years, I decided to return to my home state of Colorado. While starting a family of my own, I acted as a relief prosecutor for the City of Englewood and worked on appeals for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. However, once my third son was born I knew I needed to be at home while my boys were young. I was a stay-at-home mom for several years, undoubtedly my most demanding and rewarding position!
It was my desire to again help victims, this time the children of divorce, which lead me to family law. Although in a different arena, I am able to use my interpersonal skills in order to help parents and clients get through the divorce process, hopefully, as amicably as possible. I have found that the law and other resources can be utilized to help people through a painful process and put the pieces back together. My skills as a prosecutor have never been put to rest, however, as there are always those cases which end up in the courtroom.
After having gone through my own divorce involving three children, I have made my commitment to practice family law exclusively. I have witnessed first-hand the impact of divorce on children, and I have learned that there are ways to minimize this impact. I feel I can uniquely relate to my clients and help them see that they will survive this experience and their lives can move forward in a positive direction.
I am a member of the Colorado Bar Association Family Law Section, Colorado Women's Bar Association, the Douglas/Elbert Bar Association, and on the Board of the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee (MDIC) (a non-profit organization consisting of attorneys and mental health professionals which is dedicated to helping children and parents through divorce.) I am admitted to practice law in California and Colorado.
In my spare time, I can usually be found on football fields, baseball diamonds, lacrosse fields, basketball courts . . .did I mention three boys?
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